Customers approached the Cosmo Place Trader Vic's by walking along a narrow entryway, lush with tropical plants on either side, and after climbing a few stairs they proceeded along an opulent, narrow hall. Glass cases ran along both sides with South Seas artifacts, tiki dolls, and, yes, a shrunken head. At the far end of this Indiana Jones movie set, one encountered not Trader Vic himself but Michael O. Gutierrez, with the reservations book open before him. Mike Gutierrez was more than a maitre d'hotel. He was the keeper of the Trader Vic flame. A former U.S. marine with the toughness of a gunnery sergeant and the charm of Cary Grant, Gutierrez worked for Trader Vic for 37 years. In an interview in the San Francisco Chronicle, he once said that, on opening nights of the opera or symphony or other major San Francisco events, you "shouldn't plan on getting a table in the Captain's Cabin unless your family fortune was made in the 19th century".